One of my former New America Foundation colleagues and great friends, Douglas Rediker, did not need a recess appointment and was sworn in Thursday in the Cash Room of the Department of Treasury.
Rediker, former Director of the New America Foundation’s Global Strategic Finance Initiative, is the new Alternative US Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.
This is important for a number of reasons, particularly Rediker’s important work that he has done with his wife, Heidi Crebo-Rediker who now serves as Chief, International Finance and Economics for the majority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two of them, both deeply experienced in capital and financial markets work, nonetheless saw the limits of manic neoliberalism in Russia and Eastern Europe. They wrote about the quickly evolving development of “state capitalism”, “sovereign wealth funds”, and strategic financial competition designed by other countries to challenge American primacy in global finance.
Rediker’s swearing-in was supposed to be done by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, but he was delayed on the Hill and instead Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin did the oathing and Rediker the swearing.
For those who track these things, Atlantic Council and former Wall Street Journal Europe chief Frederick Kempe did a great job as master of ceremonies — and the attendees included Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot [just on the job for four days], Commodities Future Trading Commission Chair Gary Gensler, former Obama Senate office economic adviser and new US Executive Director to the World Bank Ian Solomon, IMF Deputy Director John Lipsky, Michael Lind and Samuel Sherraden both of the New America Foundation Economic Growth Program, Heidi Crebo-Rediker from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, among others.
Congrats as well to Ian Solomon on his recent confirmation.
Now a question for all the Treasury Department types I met the other day.
Why in the world is the official entrance to Treasury marked by a large statue to Albert Gallatin, the 4th Secretary of Treasury and a pawn of Thomas Jefferson in many anti-Hamilton crusades?
Alexander Hamilton’s statue is in the back of the building.
This doesn’t make sense. Hamilton was a champion of infrastructure development, infant industry-nurturing industrial policy, and smartly deployed credit.
Those types of policies are what the nation needs today — and it may be about time to put the FIRST Secretary of Treasury out front.
Congrats again to Douglas Rediker, who has on several occasions been an important guest blogger here at the The Washington Note.
— Steve Clemons